Why is it so hard to lose weight with Hashimoto’s? — BOOST Thyroid: Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroid App

1. Cut Out Simple Carbs and Sugars

Kelly Austin, ND, a naturopathic doctor specializing in hormone disorders and the director of the Prime Wellness Clinic in San Diego, recommends a moderate- to low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on complex carbohydrates (think starchy vegetables and legumes) and avoids simple sugars (pass on the candy and soda).

According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, foods with a high a glycemic load (like refined grain products and sugary drinks) may increase inflammation in the body. But Dr.

Austin stresses the importance of eating enough calories because «low calories can cause a stress response and result in decreased T3 [the active thyroid hormone triiodothyronine] production,” she says.

2. Eat More Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Anti-inflammatory foods can help ease joint aches and pains as well as depression, all of which can result from hypothyroidism, Austin says. And anti-inflammatory foods can help soothe the immune system, which is often in overdrive in people with hypothyroidism, says Tina Beaudoin, ND, the president of the New Hampshire Association of Naturopathic Doctors and medical director of HealthStrong Integrative Medicine in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“An anti-inflammatory diet can help calm the immune system and excessive inflammation, and support adequate intake of the essential nutrients needed for healthy thyroid function, including magnesium, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, iron, and vitamin C,” Dr.

Beaudoin says. Leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, fatty fish, nuts, fruit, and olive oil are all good foods to battle inflammation. And this diet decreases the burden on the liver to metabolize highly processed foods, she notes.

RELATED: Eat Right to Support Thyroid Function

3. Stick to Small, Frequent Meals

Hypothyroidism slows digestive function, notes Beaudoin. “Eating smaller, more frequent meals with balanced macronutrients — quality proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats — supports balanced blood sugar and helps avoid the highs and lows of oversized, highly processed meals,» she says.

Danna on focusing on health choices that are in her control

Your daily caloric intake can quickly skyrocket unless you log everything you eat and drink, Dr. Corsino says. It can also help ensure that you’re eating a balanced diet. “Keeping a food journal is important for someone with hypothyroidism to track their macronutrient intake,” Austin says.

Thyroid hormone should be taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning with plenty of water, Corsino says. Don’t take it with any other medications and wait at least 30 to 60 minutes before eating breakfast.

If your thyroid level still isn’t where it should be when you take your medication properly, it could be affecting your ability to lose weight. Talk with your doctor about treatment adjustments that might be right for you.

Additional reporting by Jennifer Geddes.

  1. Avoid stress because it leads to unhealthy food choices and overeating.

  • Reactions to stress are controlled by the adrenal glands, which are already overworked and under-functioning in hypothyroid patients.

  • Stress also increases cortisol levels, which increases hunger, thereby affecting the insulin levels.

  1. Focus on Deep breathing exercises

  • It can help you take in more oxygen and release more carbon dioxide with each breath.

  • Will also  help with weight loss, stress reduction, and relaxation.

  1. Reduce the use of stimulants like coffee, Red Bull to conquer your fatigue.

  • Hypothyroidism makes the adrenal glands susceptible to overwork and burnout.

  • The adrenal glands can only take so much stimulation before they begin to under-function. Weaning off of stimulants, including coffee, soda and tea, can help the adrenal gland function at a normal pace without any pressure.

1 day sample diet plan for hypothyroid patients

Breakfast ➤ Vegetable Poha, 1 glass of buttermilk/Milk, 5 soaked almonds

Mid Morning➤ Bowl of fruit chaat

Lunch ➤ Bowl of salad Dal some seasonal cooked vegetables whole wheat chapati

Evening Snack ➤ Sprout chaat/ Fruit with curd

Dinner ➤ Bowl of soup/salad bowl of vegetables whole wheat chapati

Helpful Exercises

Exercise and diet go hand in hand to manage weight for a hypothyroid patient. Here are a few benefits of working out during hypothyroidism:

1) Fights water retention Exercise helps you by sweating out the excess water from your body because when you exercise your body’s BMR goes up means body temperature raises.

2)  While doing exercise your body starts burning extra calories, (which under normal circumstances your body is storing) resulting in weight loss.

3) Exercise promotes better sleep patterns- because when you exercise your body secretes happy hormones that keep stress away throughout the day and helps you sleep better at night because of decreased stress level.

Things To Implement

  • Start with a 15 minute workout routine (a combination of cardio) to help increase the blood circulation in the body and prepare it for strengthening exercises like knee pushups, lying superman, Russian twist, burpees, jumping jacks, etc. Finish your regimen with stretching exercises to cool down your body and avoid muscle injury.
  • One key factor when burning excess calories is to concentrate on strengthening exercises because muscles burn more calories than the same amount of fat. Hence, building lean muscles will help in losing more weight even when you are not exercising.
  • Along with the balanced diet, regular exercising not only helps in building strength, but also increases the metabolism and improves insulin sensitivity. All that you need is proper guidance from an expert regarding thyroid diet and exercise to achieve your weight loss target and manage hypothyroidism.

Sample Exercises

Warm up

Strengthen Exercises

Stretching exercise

High Front Kick, Toe touch stretch

Russian twist, Knee pushups, Lying superman, Frog sit ups, Leg lift with chair

Calf stretch, Thigh stretch, Hamstring stretch, Shoulder stretch, Triceps stretch

It’s a fact that thyroid patients face difficulty in losing weight, due to their subnormal metabolism but there are no short cuts to weight loss. One has to be patient and focused towards the goal.

Maintaining a healthy weight with hypothyroidism has been a challenge for Ginny Mahar, co-founder of Thyroid Refresh. Diagnosed in 2011, Mahar says her doctor’s advice regarding her weight gain was “eat less and exercise more.” Sound familiar?

Danna Bowman, co-founder of Thyroid Refresh, always assumed that the weight fluctuations she experienced as a teen were a normal part of life. In fact, she blamed herself, thinking she wasn’t eating right or exercising enough.

As a teen, she says the amount she wanted to lose was never more than 10 pounds, but it always seemed like a monumental task. Weight was easy to put on and difficult to take off, thanks to her hormones.

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